RagMag April 2016 Spring 2016 - Page 18

Can you please describe what is "Play Your Gender"

The objective is to give a voice to the talented musicians who are aware of and fighting against the gender disparity in the music industry. According to all the statistics we've found, the women we talked to are working and succeeding in an industry that is very biased against them. Only 5% of music producers are women and that's concerning, because the songs we listen to say a lot about our society and music is a big part of human culture. The aim was to figure out why that disparity exists and what can be done about it.

Who is the founder and how did you become involved?

Sahar Yousefi, Kinnie Starr and myself have been involved with this project for almost 2 years. We all feel passionate about tackling the subject of gender bias and with my background in music playing a traditionally male instrument, the drums, I feel a particular pull to the subject.

What year was "Play Your Gender" launched and how long have you been involved?

We have a web component that we have been updating for the last year and the documentary film will be released in the fall of this year.

Describe an amazing experience you have had while working on "Play Your Gender" -

This entire process has been eye opening, inspiring and sometimes concerning. We have been traveling and speaking to musicians and music industry professionals and I'm always surprised at how similar the struggles are for all the women in this male-dominated field. With that said, everyone we have spoken to is making a huge difference and it's inspiring to be alive right now when we are in the middle of what I believe to be a real turning point for gender equality. On a personal note, I was a huge fan of the band Hole especially in the 90s. So when I got to interview Patty Schemel, the drummer from Hole's 90s era I was especially pleased and tried not to embarrass myself by geeking out to much.

Describe any challenges you have experienced -

Some educated and intelligent people still believe that gender bias isn't an issue or a concern in the music industry or in any industry and that it's not worth talking about. Although that can be upsetting, it also gives us the chance to try to educate some of those people and perhaps open their mind to the benefit of discussing these issues. By discussing things like this, we will only become a more just society.

What long term goals does "Play Your Gender" have?

We are very excited to finish the documentary and release it to the world this fall. Hopefully we will have a great festival run and then find an online home where the film can be accessed by many many people. I think here are a lot of inspiring things in this movie that young women and men can feel empowered by. After the film is released, we plan to keep up the web component where we have already begun to build a community for people to discuss the industry and their individual experiences.

Does "Play Your Gender" have any plans to tour in the states:

We will be sure to travel to the States with the film once it's released. We will keep you updated

What exciting news can we look forward to (dates, times etc)?

We are always sharing stories on our social media links, so be sure to check those out and we will announce a release date as soon as we confirm our film premiere.

Melissa Auf der Maur formerly from Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins speaking to host Kinnie Starr.

Sara Quinn from Tegan and Sara

By: Rag House



with Stephanie Clattenburg